Response for project 200301500: Blind Slough Restoration
Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget
We confrim our desire for renewing project funding related to ongoing restoration activities in Blind Slough. FY 2006 funds will be applied to on the ground construction and monitoring activities to meet the original goal of reconnecting 7 miles of tidal slough habitat in the Columbia River Estuary. Specifically, these funds will be applied to the purchase, mobilization, and installation of culverts in areas that are currently barriers for fish. In addition, funds will support ongoing monitoring of Blind Slough system to track project effectiveness for improving water quality conditions and habitat functions for migrating juvenile salmonids.
Accomplishments since the last review
|# of stream miles treated before realignment (0.1 mi.)||0 miles|
|# of stream miles treated, including off-channels, after realignment (0.1 mi.)||5 miles|
2004-Breeched dike to install 3 fish friendly tidegates to enhance tidal connectivity to Blind Slough system 2004-Installed 5 culverts in railroad bed to enhance tidal connectivity in Blind Slough system. Both these activities totaled 5 miles increased connectivity of historical tidal slough channels. 2003-2004-Established a baseline set of data for water quality and fish use totalling 9 sites that will be compared to post-project conditions to track ecological effectiveness of project.
FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments
|# of stream miles treated before realignment (0.1 mi.)||5 miles|
|# of stream miles treated, including off-channels, after realignment (0.1 mi.)||2 miles|
Goals for 2006 are to continue implementation of activites that enhance reconnection of 7 miles of tidal slough habitat and continue ongoing monitoring to track project effectiveness for improving water quality and fish use. These activities include purchase, mobilization, and installation of 3 culverts in 2 roadbeds making an additional 2 miles of tidal slough habitat available. Funds will support monitoring activities for the collection, validation, and analysis of water quality and fish use data in 9 sites throughout the system including 2006 construction locations.
How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?
The management plan for this subbasin outlines specific physical objectives to support a diversity of life histories for migrating salmonid species. They are outlined below: Sa.PO.2 Increase shallow water peripheral and side channel habitats toward historic levels. (page 223) Sa.PO.3 Restore connectivity between river and floodplain, tidally influenced reaches of tributaries, as well as in-river habitats (page 223). Sa.PO.7 Develop an understanding of emigrating juvenile salmonid life history diversity and habitat use in the lower mainstem, estuary, and plume. (page 224) Project also meets multiple Strategies and Measures for habitat under the 4H Integrated Strategy for the Lower Columbia and Estuary that are articulated in detail below: EH.S3. Protect functioning habitats while also restoring impaired habitats to properly functioning conditions.(page 244) EH.S4. Strive to understand, protect, and restore habitat-forming processes in the Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem. (page 245) EH.S5. Improve understanding of how salmonids utilize estuary and lower mainstem habitats and develop a scientific basis for estimating species responses to habitat quantity and quality. (page 245) Measures include: EH.M1. Restore tidal swamp and marsh habitat in the estuary and tidal freshwater portion of the lower Columbia River. (page 245) EH.M8. Restore connectedness between river and floodplain.(page 247)
How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?
Project is consistent multiple working hypotheses derived from assessment findings identified in the Lower Columbia Province Plan and more specifically in the Lower Columbia and Estuary subbasin plan which includes the area of Blind Slough. Hypotheses related to the Blind Slough project are listed below: E.H7. Of all fish and wildlife species utilizing the Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem habitat, salmonids appear to be one of the most distressed.(page 167) E.H8. The Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem ecosystem is critical to the expression of salmon life history diversity and spatial structure which support population resilience and production. E.H9. Changes in the Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem habitat have decreased the productivity of the ecosystem and contributed to the imperiled status of salmon and steelhead. (page 169) E.H10. Density dependent factors might affect salmonid productivity in the Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem under some conditions, but their significance is unclear. (page 170) E.H11. Habitat restoration efforts are capable of significantly improving conditions for fish and wildlife species in the Columbia River estuary and lower mainstem.(page 171) E.H12. Estuary and lower Columbia River mainstem habitat restoration efforts would provide substantial benefits for anadromous fish species throughout the Columbia and Snake river basins. In addition, project helps in answering questions identified in the Critical Uncertainties defined on page 262. Specific items applicable to the Blind Slough project: #2. Implement selected restoration projects as experiments, so that we can learn as we go. #3. Implement pre- and post-restoration project monitoring programs, to increase the learning. #11. Understanding salmonid estuarine ecology, including food web dynamics.